HIRAM, Ohio – The Hiram College women's basketball team will kick off the quarterfinal round of the North Coast Athletic Conference Championship Tournament as the Terriers travel to Wittenberg University on Tuesday evening.
Hiram finished the 2017-18 regular season with an overall record of 11-14, including a 7-9 mark in NCAC play, under first-year head coach Alex Dellas.
How They Got There
Despite dropping five of their first six games to open the season, the Terriers began to figure things out in the middle portion.
After rattling off four-straight wins, including NCAC victories over Allegheny and Wooster, along with non-conference wins over Thiel College and Chapman.
Following their first six games, Hiram posted a mark of 10-9. Which included season sweeps of Wooster, Ohio Wesleyan and Allegheny, as well as a conference win over Denison University.
Losing two of their leading scorers to injury before the beginning of the regular season, Hiram got solid contributions from the entirety of their lineup. Seven different players averaged over five points per game, led by senior Allison Vannoy's 10.8.
Freshman Madison Branch ranked second on the team, averaging 8.8 points per night, while senior Jazmine Scott led all the Terrier reserve scorers at 8.3. Combined, the Terrier offense ranked fourth in the conference in points per game (60.5).
Hiram was able to pester opposing defenses throughout the season, ranking first in the NCAC in steals per night (10.4). The Terriers tallied at least 10 steals, 12 times on the season, including a season-best 22 against Mount St. Joseph.
Individually, not only did Vannoy rank first on the team in points and assists, but also led the entire NCAC in assists per game (5.0). Vannoy finished the regular season with the Hiram career record in assists (398).
Junior Erica Johnson also ranked among the conference's elite, leading the NCAC in steals per game (2.5) while ranking second in rebounds (10.3). Her rebound total of 258 set a new Terrier single-season record in the final game of the season.
The Tigers earned the #4 seed in the NCAC Championship Tournament thanks to a 14-11 record, including a 9-7 mark in the NCAC.
Like the Terriers, Wittenberg's longest winning streak of the season was four. However, the Tigers closed the regular season strong, winning five of their last six games.
Wittenberg boasted the league's second-highest scoring offensive throughout the regular season, averaging 65.4 points per game. Delaney Williams and Sydney Mayle provided the one-two punch, with both averaging over 10 points per game.
Wittenberg was able to capture both games over the Terriers during the 2017-18 season. The Tigers earned a 78-66 in Springfield on Dec. 2, before snagging a two-point win in Hiram (66-64) on February 3.
In the second matchup of the season series, Wittenberg grabbed the win with a pair of free throws with six seconds remaining in the game. Mayle led the way for the Tigers with 13 points, while Branch scored 18 to pace the Terriers. Johnson also posted a double-double in the game, securing 20 rebounds to go along with 11 points.
NCAC Postseason History
The Terriers are making their 11th appearance in the NCAC Championship tournament since joining the conference in 2000. The Terrier senior class has been a part of the postseason in each of their four seasons, which includes hosting a NCAC playoff game for the first time in school history in 2016-17.
Wittenberg, meanwhile, has been a part of the NCAC postseason in every season since 2000 and have amassed an overall record of 19-15 since the turn of the century. The Tigers captured the NCAC tournament crown in both 2004 and 2015.
Ticket prices for the NCAC Tournament are set at $7 for adults and $5 for children (18 and under), NCAC Guest Pass holders and students WITHOUT an institution ID. Students with an NCAC institution ID will be admitted free of charge.